‘Better than the film’ – The Full Monty excites and delights at the Cambridge Arts Theatre

PUBLISHED: 11:52 19 September 2018

The Full Monty

The Full Monty

ILIFFE

An evening spent with two lovely friends and an opportunity to see The Full Monty, what could be better?

Cast of The Full Monty 2018Cast of The Full Monty 2018

Without a doubt all the cast and backstage crew gave us a fun-filled evening of entertainment that left us all with smiles on our faces.

For the first few minutes of the opening scene, Gary Lucy and young Fraser Kelly playing his son, Nathan, were hard to understand due to the strong dialect, however, once in their stride the audience were brought into the play very quickly and were totally absorbed by the story.

Nathan was such a likeable character and I for one – and much of the audience, I expect – wanted to give him a big hug. Fraser Kelly is an amazing, talented young actor and deserved some of the biggest cheers at the curtain call.

Gary Lucy made the character of Gaz his own and had the audience riveted, with his sincerity and sheer determination to make The Full Monty work.

Front to back, Gary Lucy, Joe Gill, James Redmond, Kai Owen, Louis Emerick and Andrew Dunn. Picture: Matt CrockettFront to back, Gary Lucy, Joe Gill, James Redmond, Kai Owen, Louis Emerick and Andrew Dunn. Picture: Matt Crockett

There wasn’t a weak link in the cast, and each character with brilliant acting, drew the audience in to their own individual stories. I had forgotten some of the issues each personality was carrying, and the serious side of the story was written and acted with genuine empathy and feeling.

The women did a fantastic job of portraying strong working-class characters and the personalities of the group was clear. Some of their scenes were hilarious – tissues were needed to mop up the tears through laughing so much!

For the older members in the audience, we were soon drawn back to the political feelings at that time in the north.

The catchy musical numbers were hard to resist and I noticed many heads bopping to the rhythm of the tunes – the sound was also very good.

The scenery changes were excellent – giving an idea of the places set within different areas illuminated but never detracted from the actors.

And then, far too soon, we found ourselves at the famous final scene. I’m sure I observed many of the ladies sit up straighter and move forward in their seats!

The actors did all look a little nervous as the lights dimmed, however this did help their modesty to be protected and to whoops and claps from the audience they did ‘the full monty’!

Although this play is not for the prudish or easily offended, it offers an evening of fantastic acting, laughs and all-round entertainment.

Not quite knowing how the stage production would compare with the film, we all agreed it was better.

The Full Monty runs at the Arts Theatre until Saturday, September 22.

The show starts at 7.45pm, with a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm.

Tickets: £23-£42 (all ticket prices include a £3 per-ticket fee)

cambridgeartstheatre.com

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